UNION — It has been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and so that’s why you should never wear pajama pants or torn blue jeans or sagging pants that show off your underwear to a job interview.
On Tuesday morning, the SCWorks Union Office hosted a meeting of a number of local and state agencies including SC JUMMP, Achieve, DSS, Safe Passage, Vocational Rehabilitation, Union County Adult Education, SC DEW, Youth Stop, and the Union County Carnegie Library. The participants in the meeting arrived wearing tee-shirts, pajama bottoms, torn blue jeans, skintight leather pants, baseball caps, and sagging pants that showed the brand of underwear they had on.
In case you’re wondering, no, this is not what they normally wear to such meetings or at any other time as they go about the performance of their duties. No, they dressed like that in order to make a point about what people should not wear when they go job hunting and/or to a job interview.
“The point of this is that we have a lot of people who are looking for jobs but don’t dress appropriately,” Union County Workforce Development Director Katherine Pendergrass said during Tuesday’s event. “We have a lot of employers and agencies who tell us when people are coming to look for a job or in for an interview they are not appropriately dressed. “
Pendergrass said inappropriate dress can cause a person to lose out on a job they might have otherwise been hired for. She said this was the message she and the other participants in Tuesday’s event were trying to convey by dressing the way they did.
“When you are not appropriately dressed that creates the perception that you are not interested in getting the job,” Pendergrass said. “We dressed like this to send a message about what is not appropriate to wear when looking for a job or going on a job interview.”
So what is not appropriate to wear when looking for and/or being interviewed for a job? Pendergrass provided the following list:
• Flip-flops or sneakers.
• Underwear (bras, bra straps, briefs, boxers, etc.) that is visible. Don’t wear any underwear that shows — even if your bra straps match your top.
• Jeans, especially torn ones.
• Skirts that are too short.
• Pants that are too low-rise or too tight.
• Blouses that are too low-cut or too short — don’t show your cleavage or your belly.
• More on underwear and low-rise pants — make sure the top of your thong, if you wear one, doesn’t show above your pants.
Pendergrass said that SCWorks has services that can help job-seekers overcome the problem of inappropriate dress and other issues that can prevent them from getting a job.
“We want people to get jobs and so we have services that can help them,” Pendergrass said. “We have a clothes closet where we can assist them in choosing the appropriate attire for that interview. It could be as simple as adding a blouse or a jacket to help keep them from revealing too much flesh.”
Free Clothes Give-A-Way!
Tuesday’s event was also designed to publicize the “Free Clothe Give-a-way!” SCWorks will be host Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
“We’ll be giving away free clothes and shoes, we have men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes in all sizes,” Pendergrass said. “People will be able to come and get what they need. We have some very fine clothes for them to choose from.”
Pendergrass said the Free Clothes Give-a-way! is in keeping with SCWork’s efforts to provide job-seekers with the attire they need for job-hunting and job interviews.
The SCWorks Office is located at 103 West Main Street in downtown Union. Pendergrass said the clothes will be on display along the sidewalk from the corner of Main Street and Pinckney Street to just one door up from the Elle Belle Cafe. She said that parking would be available at the rear of the SCWorks building.
Pendergrass said that other things people do that can prevent them from getting hired include bringing a friend with them to a job interview; not being prepared for an interview; and not having a proper resume. She said SCWorks has services that can help job-seekers know what to do and what not to do at a job interview as well as help them understand what is required in writing a resume.
“We offer classes on interviewing skills as well as appropriate attire,” Pendergrass said. “We assist people with writing resumes.”
In addition, Pendergrass said SCWorks can “help people who want to go to school to learn a new skill. We offer financial assistance for welding, CDL (Certified Driver’ License), and Mechatronics.” Pendergrass said SCWorks also offers financial assistance for medical degrees in various health care fields such as nursing, radiology, and respiratory therapy. She said it also provides assistance for certified logistics and certified manufacturing production associate, both of which can be combined with forklift safety training certification.
Pendergrass said SCWorks provides similar assistance to “dislocated workers” who have been laid off from their jobs.
To learn more about the services SCWorks provides, visit the SCWorks Union Office at 103 West Main Street, Union. The office is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.
For more information about the training courses available through SCWorks see Talent Development Specialist Nikki Burgess.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4821.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4821.